Public employees collected more than 64,000 pounds of food during the eighth annual countywide “Feed the Need” public employee food drive.
That brings the total of the eight-year program to more than 782,000 pounds. The food drive is coordinated by the county and was the brainchild of former County Manager Jim Dinneen. It continued under the leadership of Interim County Manager George Recktenwald and took place from November 11 to 25 throughout Volusia County as a friendly competition among public employees.
A separate element of the food drive included “Food for Fines” in which library patrons with late fees received a $1 reduction of overdue fines up to $25 for each boxed or canned nonperishable food item they brought to the library. Food for Fines gathered 6,344 pounds of food.
The food donation totals were announced during a presentation December 18 to the Volusia County Council in DeLand.
The city of New Smyrna Beach was the top collector among agencies, with the most pounds of food collected (11,346 pounds) and the most food per full-time employee (45 pounds).
The food and funds were distributed to local food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, churches and other nonprofit organizations that are working to fight hunger.